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1  Jake the Dog Plastic Bag Holder in Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General by teaandcraft on: October 09, 2016 08:25:12 AM

Do you feel like practical things are made so much better with just a touch of impracticality? Like, I have a rice spoon. Boring. I have a rice spoon that is a pastel pink rabbit and its ears are the spoon scoop - excellent!! I decided recently that I really needed a plastic bag holder - and that it should totally look like Jake the Dog.

My Jake has a 65cm long torso and, including his arms and legs, is about 118cm long in total. He is only 14cm wide though; I can't decide if I like the skinny look best (because it kind of looks like he really has stretched) or if I should have made him wider.

He managed to fit in our entire plastic bag hoard, and he really brightens up the laundry room, so I'm very glad I've made him!

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2  Harry Potter art canvas in Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General by teaandcraft on: October 09, 2016 08:16:37 AM

My friend Bec has always said very kind things about my art canvases (which, to be honest, seems like a term which is a bit too fancy for what I actually create), so I decided that she better have one of her very own. I decided on a Harry Potter theme since Bec and I are Potterheads from way back, and making this type of canvas is easier if you know lots of random little things about a fandom.

I made a winged key simply by cutting out two vaguely wing looking shapes from scrapbooking paper and sticking them underneath a wooden key embellishment. I inked the edges of the wings and curled them up a bit to give a bit more texture.

Since woodland themes are just going out of fashion in scrapbooking now, I found a huge kit of embellishments and cutouts at the discount shop for super cheap - huzzah! The wings, blue stag card, and the stag cutout from before are all from the same kit. I stuck the wings on with double-sided sticky foam which kinda makes them look like they're floating - perfect for the wingardium leviosa spell! ^___^ I wish I had brought up on supplies a few years ago when owls were in though, because no owls were included in this particular woodland kit ; ___ ;

In this picture you can see a library card for Hogwarts: A History with (nerd alert!) names and approximate appropriate dates for confirmed canon Hogwarts students, a laminex heart that I made from a sample card from the hardware store, a stag cutout to represent Harry's patronus, and a whole lot of stamping done with my mini alphabet set. I really love this stamp set, and I use it so much; I didn't really try to get the letters straight on this project though because I felt like it gave a more Daily Prophet style feel.

Other things that you can spot on this canvas include a vintage suitcases sticker from a Amy Tangerine remarks set, a silver crown and Union Jack from a Ruby Rock-It Vintedge (yup, that's how it's spelt!) Imprints sheet, two clocks and a pointing hand also from Ruby Rock-It, two chipboard letters that I coloured gold with a paint pen, kraft paper tags that I wrote and stamped on to make the Hogwarts Express luggage tags and the tag under the HP, and a random gold embellished circle gift tag that I drew a lightning bolt on. Oh, and washi tape. Always washi tape.

The most important step of making an art canvas is to mod podge everything down afterwards. Seriously, I tried to skip this step because I thought double-sided tape and glue would be enough. Spoiler alert: it's not.
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3  Bee from Bee and Puppycat cosplay in Costumes: Completed Projects by teaandcraft on: October 09, 2016 07:43:11 AM

Unlike some other cartoon characters, Bee has quite a few different outfits. I decided to go for her trademark yellow bee embellished top and pink skirt because I prefer wearing skirts to shorts and didn't have the time to create one of her more intensive outfits! When I do a cosplay, I usually write a list of things that I will buy, things I will make, and things I already have. Yellow t-shirt was on the "to buy" list, but I couldn't find one anywhere! So instead I brought a white t-shirt and dyed it using the Procion fabric dyes my mum handed down to me. My dyeing skills are somewhat basic and the t-shirt is not a perfectly flat colour, but it was good enough for the day!

The bee applique on my top is crocheted, using a great pattern by Twinkie Chan. I had all the right colours to make it in my stash and it was quick and easy to make. I attached it to my top with a safety pin because I think I will wear it as a badge until I revisit this cosplay.

I didn't have any luck finding pink shoes, so I wore my black Doc Marten Mary-jane's instead. I found some cute white socks with scalloped edges in Target; they are made of a thin stocking type material so were not too bad for wearing on a hot day!

The skirt was the hero of this cosplay, and I was very happy with how it turned out! I already had a pattern for a circle skirt cut out from my mermaid costume so I re-used that but, since I was using a cotton fabric with not much stretch, I also wanted to add a zip. Zips are seriously the bane of my existence, but I did manage to insert one successfully ... after a couple of goes! ~___^ I hemmed the skirt following this method by Colette although I'm pretty sure I managed to slightly singe the skirt while doing so, so I'm not sure if I'll use this method in the future. I didn't really follow a tutorial for the patch pockets, but I did find a post on patch pockets by Itch to Stitch which was very useful. I made the pocket bows using my hair bow tutorial and pattern and safety pinned them on. I decided against sewing them on because I thought that if I had to wash this skirt, it would be better to be able to remove the bows beforehand.

I always like to have a bag when I'm cosplaying so I used some of the leftover fabric from the skirt bows to make a small tote bag. I applique a felt eggplant on the bag, since aubergines seem to turn up quite a bit on Bee and Puppycat! I used pink ribbon for the handles simply because I had some which was the right colour in my stash. I was worried that they were going to snap during the day, but they held up well!

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4  How to make succulent planters from ceramic moneyboxes in Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by teaandcraft on: October 09, 2016 07:26:19 AM

My experiments in growing succulents from cuttings and leaves have reached the stage where I have a *lot* of new plants, and no where near enough pots. To remedy this, I headed off to the discount store (because I am nothing if not cheap) but they only had plain plastic pots in their gardening section, which didn't rouse much excitement. However, as I was heading back out via the homewares section, I spotted an amazing unicorn money box. You know what they say, "when life gives you moneyboxes, make planters!" ~___^

I started off with the unicorn moneybox by using a permanent marker to measure out a rectangle shape. I made mine 5.5cm x 3 cm, but the size is really dependent on the shape of your object and the size you want the plant hole to be.  I attached the ceramic cutting wheel to my Dremel (#EZ545, with the EZ Lock Mandrel, for those playing along at home) and started cutting along the marked lines. It cut through the ceramic like butter! Only with, like, a hecka ton of dust. I was wearing safety glasses, ear muffs, and a dust mask during this project which kinda seemed like overkill when I began but, hey, at least I didn't get any ceramic dust in my lungs.

To tidy it up a bit, I went around the edges with a long rounded pink grinding stone attachment (no idea what number is this, sorry!) which really helped make everything look neater and also feel less sharp. Since the moneybox came with a hole in the bottom, I decided just to take out the rubber plug and use that for drainage.

I placed a large flat rock over the hole in the base of the unicorn, and then added a layer of small pebbles. Then all that was left to do was add some cacti and succulent soil, and the plants!
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5  Pizza wall hanging in Weaving: Completed Projects by teaandcraft on: October 09, 2016 07:17:37 AM

Ok, so, this project is totally awesome and totally difficult to photograph. If you have a house that isn't 90% brown brick (mmmmm, so seventies!) it may be easier to take photographs that look pretty. BUT - pizza weaving! Yum!  I used my 6.5 x 9.5 inch loom and although when I started I wanted to make it bigger, after weaving all the pizza toppings I think this size was just right ~___^

Before I started, I drew a pizza slice on a sheet of A4 paper which I kept under my loom as I wove. I didn't follow it exactly, but it was good to have a guideline regarding where I should be putting toppings and how much to angle in the actual pizza slice.

Bonus project: Above is the first weaving I made. Now, let's be honest, it's pretty ugly. I started this project with no idea what the finished product would look like and since I was more interested in learning how to do different things rather than making a coherent design it's kinda ... odd.  I did have a lot of fun making it though! ^___^

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6  Captain America and The Winter Soldier crochet mismatched fingerless mitts in Crochet: Completed Projects by teaandcraft on: September 19, 2016 08:19:46 AM

I have seen versions of this around before, but they were all knitted and since I'm still not a very confident knitter I decided to crochet them instead. I used Twinkie Chan's instructions for a basic mitt pattern to determine the size these should be (as this varies depending on hand size) and used a 4mm hook and some 100% DK weight wool to make them.

For the Winter Soldier mitt I crocheted in the back loops every second row to create a kind of ridged pattern to mimic the segments of his metal arm. The star was extremely frustrating to make because most applique patterns were way too big. I ended up making it up as I went along, but I'm still not totally happy with it.

For the Captain America mitt I just did a plain treble repeat and I used Handy Knitty's pattern to make the "A". The little wings on either side of the A were a little tricky to do, because again most patterns were much too large. I ended up using a similar technique to how Handy Knitty forms their letters. I chain stitched nine, slip stitched in three, chained two, slip stitched in three, chained two, slip stitched in five. The extra chain stitches form the two lower wing protrusions.  The two sides are made exactly the same way, and I just flipped one over once I was finished crocheting. They need to be sewed down to really look like Captain America's helmet wings, but once they are attached I think they look pretty neat.

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7  Toe guards for my derby skates in Completed Projects by teaandcraft on: September 19, 2016 07:52:31 AM

The front of my roller skates were looking a little scratched up, so I decided I better make myself a pair of toe guards. DIY Roller Derby have a free pattern for boot covers so I printed it out and got started! A while ago I tried to crochet some toe guards but didn't have much luck - the test run of this sewing pattern confirmed my theory as to why: my Riedell R3s need more cover at the top than they do at the bottom. Luckily, this is much easier to fix when sewing than it is with crochet! I added three centimeters to the top of the pattern, making sure to curve the edges down to meet the top of the original pattern smoothly, shifted the holes for the laces, made the toe stop bolt hole larger, and added darts on either side of the aforementioned hole.

The darts on either side of the top stop hole make the cover fit a little more snugly around the trucks. They aren't the most perfect darts ever, but since they're underneath the skate they aren't that visible. When I sewed up the sides of the cover, I also sewed across the front. This meant that when I turned the cover right way out, they didn't have little pointed horns from the seam. The holes in my cover aren't that visible, but to make them I poked a pair of sharp scissors through the pleather and then widened the holes with a crochet hook handle which was the same thickness as my laces. To make them look a little fancier, I also sewed on some red leather hearts. I think they look really cute, and hopefully they'll add a little more reinforcement to the covers. I'd definitely recommend using leather for the whole guards if you can though, or maybe even a thicker pleather, because this thin pleather ended up wearing through fairly quickly!
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8  Hipster Vulcan cosplay in Costumes: Completed Projects by teaandcraft on: September 18, 2016 07:26:59 AM

My friends and I weren't really planning on going to SupaNova this year ... and then the week before we decided to anyway! Of course this meant that we needed cosplays! I was being a bit indecisive about repeating one of my old cosplays, but in the end decided to make something new. So I hurriedly threw this costume together, 100% from things I had lying around my house. As I awkwardly explained to one girl at the con, "it's like a hipster Vulcan, like on shore leave kinda thing, like just casual?" Ugh, words. Anyway, from head to toe, here's how I put this costume together ...

Flower crown: I made this a couple of years ago at my "it's my birthday, let's make flower crowns" party ~___^ I used two bouquets of foam roses, one white and one pink, and thin floral wire. The foam roses come on bendable wire steams covered with florist's tape so all I had to do was bend them into a circle shape, alternating pink and white roses, and add small amounts of floral wire to hold them into place.

Eyebrows: I think I went too subtle, but I did actually change the shape of my eyebrows so that they were more straight (mine usually curve down a lot more!). To do this, I put a small amount of glue stick on the end half of my eyebrows (which, despite the internet assuring me this would be fine, I was very nervous about!) and then did layers of powder, concealer, foundation, and then more powder to cover up my eyebrow. Then I used an eyebrow pencil to draw them in again, but in a more Vulcan like shape. And, wonderful news, it all washed off really easily that evening, and my eyebrows weren't harmed at all - yay!

Jewellery and accessories: My glasses are my regular ones that I wear everyday, my necklace is one of the galaxy necklaces I made a while ago, I brought the Saturn pin from One Happy Leaf, my Starfleet brooch is made from sculpey, and my pointy ears are from The Reject Shop - I actually found a whole Spock costume there! Unfortunately, it's for children so the top doesn't fit ; _____ ;

 Shirt: I had an old t-shirt in my drawer that I never wear anymore because it's a bit too big. I used a stencil from Typo to paint on the L,O, and E, and painted in a little Vulcan hand in place of the V ^____^ The shoulder ... things ... are from Spotlight and all I had to do was fold up the sleeves so that they were a bit shorter and then sew the shoulder thingies on top. I also cut the shirt into a cropped style, with some ties at the front. I wish I had have cut it just a little longer though, because I was a bit worried about it riding up at the back!

Skirt: This skirt had been in my mending pile for aaagggggeeeesssss because once when I was doing some cleaning, I got some cleaning spray on it which left little bleach marks - ___ - I had been planning on dyeing it so the marks weren't visible anymore but instead I did the opposite - more bleach! After bleaching it, I washed the skirt in hot water and left it to dry. Then, I got out my fabric paints and a sponge brush and went to town creating myself a little galaxy ^____^ I'm not 100% happy with it, but I think it's pretty good for my first try at galaxy painting. The only thing I wish I had have thought of was that most of my old clothes are too big for me now - including this skirt. I wore a belt but it was also slightly too big so I spent a lot of the day trying to tug it back up! All I need to do to fix this is take in the waistband slightly, and then I'm sure this skirt will get a lot more wear! ^____^

Tights and shoes: I also wore blue tights (they match my hair!) and, although they don't show up in any of these photos, my Doc Marten Mary-Janes. Cons always involve a lot of walking and standing, so comfortable shoes are a must!

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9  Making jewellery from stickers in Completed Projects by teaandcraft on: September 18, 2016 07:17:35 AM

Hello! I don't know if anyone else is like this, but I have a hard time using stickers. It's just like, once you use them, that's it! I know, it's weird - and I keep buying them hoping to find the perfect place to stick them to. This has resulted in me having quite a lot of stickers but I've finally discovered the perfect use: make them into brooches, earrings, and hairclips!

To make your own you'll need some thin balsa wood, a scalpel, jewellery hardware, E6000 glue, PVA glue or mod podge, and some fun stickers. I just stuck my stickers directly to the balsa wood, but I noticed one of them moving around while I was wearing it yesterday so in future I would brush on a very thin layer of glue before adding the stickers.

Cutting them out with the scalpel is the most time consuming part! I used the time to catch up on some Welcome to Night Vale episodes ^___^ Lastly, use the E6000 to glue on the jewellery hardware and leave everything to dry.

I've still got a lot of stickers in my collection so I think I'll be making more of these in the future, and now I have an excuse to buy even more stickers ~____^

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10  Ruby the Red amigurumi chicken in Amigurumi: Completed Projects by teaandcraft on: September 18, 2016 06:56:06 AM

As with many amigurumi, the first challenge arose with finding the perfect pattern (well ... it was possibly the procrastination, but stick with me here). I had a firm idea of what I wanted the chicken to look like, but no real skill in shaping 3D objects that would allow me to freestyle. And then, happily, I found Jennifer Olivarez' pattern for her Rainbow Chicken. The Rainbow Chicken had the perfect chubby body that I wished for my chicken, so I got out my hook and yarn and made it up.  I love how squishy and chubby and curvy this chicken is! I stuffed it very firmly with polyfill so that it would keep it's shape and stand up by itself. Well, mostly. This chicken does have a tendency to want to lean a little, but I think it just adds to its charm.

The next step was to make the crest, for which I again followed the pattern except for a small change. The pattern suggests to pick up some stitches from the chicken's head and crochet the crest from there, so that it is attached as you crochet. I think my tight tensioning is possibly to blame, but I couldn't get my hook through my stitches! So instead I crocheted five chain stitches to use as the base, and then did the rest of the crest in these chains instead. Afterwards I used a tapestry needle to sew it on to the chicken's head.  I did my own pattern for the wings, which are really just half-circles and are worked in rows rather than circles. Here is a little pattern for them, which remains untested and so probably contains errors.

Chain two
Row 1: treble four times into the second chain from the hook
Row 2: treble twice in each stitch (8 trebles)
Row 3: slip stitch into the first two stitches, *chain two, slip stitch into the next stitch. Repeat from * a total of four times. Slip stitch into the last two stitches and tie off.

I made two wings, and then sewed them to the chicken's body using the long end from where I tied off and a tapestry needle. To make the beak, I did two chains and then made three single stitches into the second chain from the hook. Then I slip stitched into the front loop of the first single stitch, and tied off. I then used the two long ends of the beak to sew it to the chicken. Honestly, the beak does not have much of a shape, but because it is so small, it doesn't really need to. For the ... whatever that thing is called is that chickens have below their beaks, I chained twice (again!) and did three trebles into the second chain from the hook. Then I tied off and used the long ends of the yarn to sew it underneath the beak. The most important part for this is that you leave the ends long because that is what you use to draw the stitches into the teardrop shape.

After that, the only thing left to do is to sew on some black buttons for eyes and the chicken is finished, hurray! Ruby Red stands 11cm tall from bottom to crest and is 22cm wide around her belly.
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